Shaad Ali is known for a good music sense – and has a great tuning with Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.
The acoustic-heavy, almost R.D. Burman-esque title-song 'Kill Dil' (Sonu Nigam, Shankar Mahadevan), a breezy, instrument-dominated groovy track, reminds us in parts of the epic title-music of Sholay. While Gulzar recites the introductory verse (which he also does in two more tracks) Sonu Nigam and Shankar Mahadevan sing with Kishore Kumar-esque abandon in the largely meaningless track that works while listening only because of its infectious rhythm and pace.
We liked the sitar riffs in 'Happy Budday' (Sukhwinder Singh-Sonu Nigam) where Gulzar uses the imaginative line, 'Bas Aashiqon Pe Rahe Curfew' before taking a tangential look at the occasion. Sukhwinder sounds miscast in the song, as his rendition is somehow too harsh for a birthday greeting song to a lady! Also the orchestration is overpowering and too rock-heavy.
The rock-based treatment, however, is immensely well-done and complements the familiar but intensely-melodious third track 'Sajde' (sung after an introductory couplet by Gulzar by Arijit Singh and Nihira Joshi Deshpande). It is wonderfully orchestrated and a superlative Arijit is given competent (even if a tad Shreya-esque) company by Nihira Joshi Deshpande.
Arijit's delectable voice competently hides the weirdness in the esoteric lyrics, though they do show a spark or two of brilliance ('Marne ki aadat lagi thi / Kyoon jeene ko jee kar raha hai'). We wonder why Arijit, instead of developing his own distinct style, seems keener of imitating the composers of his songs each time, which as a habit has both pros and cons. But the composition touches the emotional solar plexus at all the right places.
Whisking us back to the bigness of the acoustic era is the Laxmikant-Pyarelal-like 'Bol Beliya' (Sunidhi Chauhan-Siddharth Mahadevan-Shankar Mahadevan), easily the catchiest song on the score, showing the composer trio's tried-and-tested mastery at such contagious rhythms and hooks. Sunidhi is amazingly in command, dwarfing the two Mahadevans. The structure, compositional phrasing and even orchestration are strongly in the L-P tenor while magically remaining in Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy terrain. The lyrics this time make a lot of sense.
With a simple four-liner recited by Gulzar, Shankar Mahadevan commences the oh-so-intensely melodious 'Baawra', which is in many ways the most haunting song in the album, with its poignancy connecting instantly, thanks to its thoughtful nuances. The classical (Shankar is superb) and rock touches helps the song reach a different dimension, and Gulzar writes pithy verse ('Jin aankhon mein neend nahin hai /Unn aankhon mein khwaab tha koi') to complement. Yes, there are parts in the song that remind us of some '80s hit, but that does not really matter.
The final track 'Nakhriley' (Shankar Mahadevan-Ali Zafar- Mahalakshmi Iyer) sounds interesting while on, and is more than a bit over-familiar. The raag-based nuances, the classical film qawwali feel and the L-P-meets-Amar Akbar Anthony-esque touches again are an attempt to lift the average number. Shankar is in form, but Mahalakshmi is low-key and Ali Zafar is quite dull.
The score is nice without being exceptional, more on the Jhoom Barabar Jhoom level rather than that of Bunty Aur Babli as a film booster. For S-E-L, it is a small step down from the brilliance of three consecutive aces, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, D-Day and 2 States. The star rating is for the commercial prospects of the score.
'Sajde', 'Bol Beliya', 'Sweeta', 'Baawra'
Music Label: Yash Raj Music